For this Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be sweet to share a love story about a girl and her house 🙂 -Jessie
In 2012, my husband Rick and I were looking at potential homes to purchase and happened upon an adorable 1947 brick ranch in the city of Burlington. Cindy was referred to us by the listing agent to show us the house. She did, we loved it, we made an offer as first time buyers with Cindy as our agent and the rest, as they say, is history.
At that point in time I had been out of work for three years. We had moved from New York to Washington state in 2009 so that I could keep my job at the time, and then back east after the economy took a turn for the worse and I ultimately lost my job, settling in North Carolina where we have family. I had never thought it would ever be possible for me to buy a house. Though I had always worked, I’d never really had a well-paying job. I had always lived in areas of the country where property taxes are very high. I was also uninformed and falsely believed that you must have 20% of the purchase price to put down up front. I was so sure I’d never be able to afford a home that I never even thought of researching further or asking questions to the right people…eh hem, a REALTOR?
The idea of making a home that is completely my own has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I think there is a very heavy psychology there. Home is an extension of who you are. It sets your mind and reassures you of your place in the world. I want my home to inspire me as much as the outside world might. One of my favorite quotes is, “Once in a while, blow your own damn mind.” I think your house should be exactly the place to do just that!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….
I have three cats (it can be very difficult to find rental homes that allow pets). I like bold, unconventional colors (you’re not going to be painting a rental). I’m a “collector” of sorts and I am not a minimalist! Moving around all the time from rental to rental always prevented me from sourcing furniture and decor with which I could create my dream haven. This year will be our eighth year in this house and I would say really only within the last year or two has it actually started to feel like the home I’ve always wanted. I’m not the type of person who can go to IKEA or some furniture warehouse and pick out a set for every room and be done with it. I like old things, weird things, thrifted things, heirlooms, estate sale items, handmade art and furniture, etc. It takes some serious hunting and time to find the things that “belong” in my house. But I’m finally feeling pretty much there. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop hunting for great stuff or changing my mind about paint colors (I have painted my master bedroom 4 times…and I’m not entirely sure that I won’t do it again…) But it sure does feel like home now. I have 10 pieces of furniture made by my father, I have endless pieces of pottery made by my mother, I have framed prints from the artists whose work I had the privilege to work on when I was a printmaker and a practicing artist. I have many items and photos around from our travels overseas and from my favorite places in nature. We have three framed cartoons from the Olympia, WA newspaper when my husband won the caption contests and some weird things that reference our sense of humor. Are these things fancy and expensive and glamorous? Nope. But they’re extremely personal, they’ve taken lots of thought and time to curate, and most importantly they give me that highly sought after sense of home.
One thing that we REALTORS think about when we work with sellers is that there is an emotional attachment that people have to their house. This is totally real, y’all! I’ve never come close to an emotional attachment to a house before…not like this. So now I get it.